A Georgia judge has agreed to sever the cases of Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell from former President Donald Trump and the other 16 co-defendants in the racketeering case alleging a scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee ruled that Chesebro and Powell will be tried jointly, and their trial will begin on October 23. Both defendants filed a request for a speedy trial, while the other defendants in the case pressed the court for more time to prepare.
"The precarious ability of the Court to safeguard each defendant's due process rights and preparation ensure adequate pretrial preparation on the current accelerated track weights heavily, if not decisively, in favor of severance," McAfee wrote in his order.
He also suggested that other defendants could have their cases severed if they file a request for a speedy trial.
"Defendants Chesebro and Powell will join each other at trial, however, the other 17 defendants are severed from these two. Additional severances may follow. All pretrial deadlines will proceed as scheduled without a stay of proceedings," McAfee wrote.
McAfee did not set a date for the trial involving Trump and the other co-defendants. He did note concerns about trying all the defendants at the same time and said the issue would be considered at another hearing on September 29.
"The Fulton County Courthouse simply contains no courtroom adequately large enough to hold all 19 defendants, their multiple attorneys and support staff, the sheriff's deputies, court personnel, and the State's prosecutorial team," McAfee wrote.